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Causes of system parameter changes?

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The Question is:

Dear Wizard,
one of our DS20E running on VMS 7.2-1 would not start up again after a
 scheduled reboot.
Error message during startup after initializing the controllers was:
Error opening primary input file SYS$INPUT
Directory not found
No such file
After doing a minimal boot it turned out that the reference to the startup was
 removed :
SYSBOOT> show /start
  Startup command file =
We set it to the correct file again and everything was working again.
After talking to several VMS system managers ( some of them with 25+ years of
 experience ) no one had ever seen this before.
I think that you can change this file reference at the SYSBOOT prompt and also
Are there any other possibilities this could have been changed ?
I am already in contact with HP VMS software support but thought this problem
 might be a brain teaser for THE WIZARD too hopefully ...
Thanks :)

The Answer is :

  The most logical and most likely cause is errant or nefarious user input;
  a fully-privileged user or tool has altered the system parameter.   This
  can be a simple error, or it could indicate a security breach of OpenVMS
  or of console-level security.
  SYSBOOT, SYSMAN, and SYSGEN are the most common system parameter user
  interfaces, of course.
  The OpenVMS Wizard would seriouslyu consider enabling SYSGEN and other
  relevent security audits, and would review the list of privileged users.
  This regardless of whether or not this particular event is actually a
  security breach.

answer written or last revised on ( 30-JUN-2004 )

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